Program Highlights

The Elementary Education Program at Millikin University is a distinctive program that prepares you for teaching like no other program in the state.  From your first semester until your last, you are provided with opportunities to learn from some of the best teachers in the field through our intensive internship program, making ours a uniquely practical program. 

When students graduate from Millikin, they’ve not just been in the field for their senior year, but every year, and that experience creates a confidence in our graduates that converts to a high placement rate for our program, as well as great representation of Millikin graduates at the Principal and Superintendent level around the state. History shows us that Millikin Elementary Education graduates are highly respected and sought after for these and many other reasons.

The field experience

The field experience is an essential component to our program. This is more than just a semester of student teaching – it is a commitment to preparing our students for a wide variety of educational settings by allowing them to experience the diversity of the elementary education classroom first-hard. Throughout the course of your studies at Millikin, you will be given opportunities to learn and observe in many different situations.

Essential elements of our field experience include:

  • Diversity: A wide variety of placements in urban and rural school districts, as well as a variety of grade levels
  • Observation: An opportunity to observe innovative teaching and learning. We have partnered with the Dennis Lab School to show our students what Project Based Learning looks like when it’s implemented in the classroom.
  • Co-teaching: Our students are provided many opportunities to watch educators in action so that you can begin to develop a sense for your own teaching style and strategies before you even land your first full-time teaching position.
  • Job placement: Our placement rate is one of the highest in the state, largely because our program bundles together endorsements and certificates with your primary area of study in a way that makes you more attractive to employers and more effective in the classroom.

Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.



Education Internship I This course assists transfer students and students in PACE programs to complete a concentrated internship in a classroom with a certified teacher, develop the first Embedded Signature Assessment, and prepare their School of Education application materials so that they may be admitted. The internship comprises 40 or more hours in a Pre-K, elementary or secondary school classroom. Students must complete a reflective journal about their classroom experience and complete the ESA. The internship provides opportunities for students to learn about the role of teachers in their field, specific grade levels, and content areas and to gain experience with students. This course is taken if ED 120 is transferred in from another institution of higher education. This course can be repeated. (ED170)
Education Internship II A concentrated, weeklong internship in a classroom with a certified teacher. Students serve as an unpaid teacher's aide in elementary and/or secondary schools for 5 consecutive days. Students attend an orientation seminar and complete reflective journals about their experiences. This exploratory internship provides opportunity for students to learn about the role of teachers in their field. Repeatable. Available during spring semesters only. Students register for internships in January, March and/or May sessions when University is not in session. (ED172)
Human Development: Pre-K through 6th Grade Study of child and adolescent development. Major theories of intellectual, social, and emotional development will be surveyed, as well as stages of physical development. Issues and concerns specific to elementary school students, such as emergent literacy, developing social competence, and latchkey children, are addressed. Implications for instructions will focus on the needs of children in pre-K through sixth grade. Pre-requisite:  ED 120 or ED 130. (ED200)
Literacy I: Children's Literature This content and methods course reviews the broad body of children's literature available for teachers to use in K-8 classrooms. Emphasis is placed on exploring literature that teaches a diverse worldview and addresses a variety of contemporary and historical social issues. Methods of integrating children's literature into the curriculum are investigated. Pre-requisite: Successful completion of ED 120 and Sophomore Block, or consent of the department chair. Heavy Reading Warning (ED204)
Language Arts Methods Current methods used in teaching and assessing language arts for elementary children. The course addresses national and state standards for teaching language arts with a focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension in addition to literature, genres of writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing and the incorporation of handwriting, spelling, and grammar for children K-6. Concurrent enrollment in ED 203, ED 207, and ED 270. Prerequisite: A grade of "C" or higher in ED 120. (ED206)
Foundations of Bilingual Education This course introduces students to a growing population of linguistically and culturally diverse students in U.S. schools and considerations in meeting their educational needs.  As the field of bilingual /ESL education is introduced, bilingual/ESL education is examined within political, social, cultural, and historical contexts.  This course is specifically designed to meet the requirements for students pursuing Bilingual or ESL approval/endorsement in the state of Illinois.
Prerequisite: none (ED209)
Math Methods for Elementary Teachers Overview of current national and state mathematics standards. Theoretical and practical strategies for teaching mathematics in elementary schools. Includes peer-teaching experiences. Pre-requisite: Successful completion of the Math Skills Assessment (MSA). (ED212)
Differences of Students with Special Learning Needs This course introduces students to the characteristics and learning differences of K-12 individuals. Background will be provided regarding how special education law defines mild to moderate learning needs. The educational setting for the majority of students with learning disabilities and mild disabilities is the general education classroom, and teaching these students becomes the responsibility of the general education teacher.  This course will address strategies for the general education teacher to instruct students with learning disabilities and related mild disabilities. The designation of Mild Disabilities is cross-categorical and includes students from several categories of disabilities, including but not limited to learning disabilities, mental retardation, social/emotional disturbances. This course will assist students in understanding the learning needs of this particular group of students. (ED215)
Strategies for Individuals  with Learning  Disabilities This course addresses the psychology of, the identification of and the methods of instruction for the exceptional child in K-12 classrooms. Students will discuss theory and skills to create and teach lessons that are varied to meet the individual learning needs of all students with learning disabilities in K-12 classrooms. Students will engage in various learning activities through which they will learn and implement teaching strategies designed to create multiple paths so that students of different learning needs experience equally appropriate ways to sustain learning. Students will also show evidence of differentiating instruction by varying content, process, and product in their units and lessons. (ED216)
Intro to Teaching Learners with Diverse Abilities This course provides a foundational knowledge of the historic and current laws, policies, and ethical principles which provide the frame work for educating individuals with diverse abilities in K-12 classrooms and how such needs impact the individual and family. The course also provides the student with a knowledge base of designing instruction that supports and maximizes individual abilities and learning in relation to an Individualized Education Program. (ED220)
Child Language Development and Linguistics This course introduces students to language development for young children, birth through grade 5.  Both monolingual and bilingual language development will be explored.  Students will be introduced to theories of language development.  As classroom considerations for language learning are explored student will learn elements of linguistics as well as special considerations for English language learners (ELLs.). Issues of assessment will be introduced as well as special considerations of language development for internationally adopted children.  Prerequisite: completion of sophomore block in fall semester. (ED236)
Health, Nutrition, and Welfare of Young Children Addresses the early childhood educator's role in assuring child health and welfare. Emphasis is placed on best health practices including nutrition, hygiene and well child care, as well as risks to children from their environments and caregivers. Community resources and the need for early identification and support for families of children with special needs will be addressed. Concurrent enrollment required in ED 232, ED 236, and ED239 as part of Sophomore Block. Pre-requisite: ED 120 or ED 130. (ED237)
Clinical Internship II A focused semester-long internship in an elementary classroom; part of a field-based learning experience with corequisite sophomore block courses.  During this internship, students will connect theory to practice with weekly instructional assignments to complete within the internship. (ED270)
Access to General Curriculum and IEPs This course prepares students to understand IEPs in relation to access to the general curriculum and presents a framework to be used in evaluating the extent to which IEPs reflect access to the genera curriculum in K-12 classrooms. Students will understand that individualization if instruction is an important part of special education. Instruction and schoolwork are tailored to the needs of the child. This course will assist students in their understanding of how changes made, in class work or routines because of a child’s disability, can assist in access and achievement. (ED301)
Methods and Materials for Teaching ELS Learners This course prepares students for differentiated instruction for English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools.  Students will be introduced to the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model for designing lessons.  Students will also be introduced to elements of reading instruction for ELLs as well as standards and assessment.  Considerations for ELLs will be discussed in regard to Response to Intervention (TrI) and qualifying for special education services.  Prerequisite: admittance to the School of Education and completion of Sophomore Block course work. (ED304)
Literacy III: Teaching Methods for Reading Current methods and materials used in teaching school children to read. Incorporates state and national standards for teaching reading. Includes diagnostic and remedial techniques. Concurrent enrollment required in ED 306, ED307, ED310, and ED 370 (CRN# 36255) for Junior Block. Pre-requisite: Minimum grade of C in ED 204, and successful completion of Sophomore Block courses (minimum grade of C in ED 203, ED 206, ED 207, and ED 270), junior standing, and admission to and retention in the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). (ED305)
Teaching Science Principles of science including content and methods of teaching science in elementary and middle/junior high schools. Addresses state and national standards and benchmarks of science education. Concurrent enrollment required in ED 305, ED307 and ED310 for Junior Block. Pre-requisite: Sophomore Block courses and admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). (ED306)
Creating Communities of Learners Addresses principles of individual and group motivation and communication, as well as strategies of management and discipline, that will assist students to create positive learning communities that foster positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Case descriptions and microteaching will assist candidates to solve classroom behavioral and motivation problems. Applications of discipline and learning theories will be examined to enable the development of proactive and preventive classroom management strategies. Students will prepare and present a discipline and management plan. Concurrent enrollment in  ED 305, ED 306 and ED 307 required for Junior Block for Elementary Education program and ED 332 and ED339 for Early Childhood Education program. Pre-requisite: Sophomore Block courses (Early Childhood and Elementary Education only) and admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). (ED310)
Art for Teachers Emphasis on planning, presentation, organization and techniques for elementary school teachers.  Attention given to different art media used in the public school.  Art majors working toward a special certificate are required to take this course.  May not be counted toward a major in art. (ED311)
Physical Development and Health This course fulfills a major requirement for elementary Education majors.  Major goals for this course include instructing future teachers to integrate specific state standards of physical development and health in their curricular instruction within a classroom setting. (ED314)
The Exceptional Child A study of the educational needs of children who deviate from the average in such areas as intelligence, hearing, sight, speech, and behavior. Addresses professional education and special education standards. Contemporary provisions for educating exceptional individuals, following state and national mandates. Special emphasis on the learning disabled child. Requires 5 hours of field experience. Pre-requisite: Admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). (ED320)
General Secondary Methods and Assessment Theories and techniques of teaching in secondary schools with specific emphasis on the planning, organizing, and presenting of learning experiences and assessment of student achievement. Students are assigned to a local middle or high school classroom to complete a 30 hour internship for two full mornings a week for four weeks.  Pre-requisite: Admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). (ED321)
Assessment of English Language Learners This course introduces students to the role of assessment in early childhood and elementary education.  Types of formal and informal assessment for classroom purposes will be discussed as well as standardized assessments at the school, district and state level.  Assessment for English Language Learners (ELLs) will also be a focus of the course.  Assessments for determining English language proficiency in the identification of ELLs will be an element of the course.  Standard and nonstandard types of assessment will be explored for the purpose of informing planning and instruction for ELLs as well as program development.  Discussion will focus on reducing bias and the need for linguistic and culturally relevant assessment for ELLs.  Linguistic and cultural considerations will also be discussed in the identification of ELLs for special education.  Prerequisites: fall of senior year or semester prior to student teaching; admittance to student teaching. (ED325)
Teaching Language Arts and Social Studies in Early Childhood Emphasizes the place of social studies in early childhood education program (preschool-3rd grade). Focuses on several areas of knowledge related to the social life of the community as it is concerned with young children. Focuses on basic principles, techniques, and materials for the emergent literacy classroom. Emphasizes linguistic and cultural factors in culturally diverse settings. Concurrent enrollment required in ED 310 and ED 339 as part of Junior Block. Pre-requisite: Admission to School of Education (SOE). (ED332)
Methods in Early Childhood Special Education Examines the process of adapting learning goals to a child's individual special needs. Includes a discussion of therapeutic measures to address a child's development in language, social-emotional, motor and cognitive domains. Concurrent enrollment required in ED 310 and ED 332 as part of Junior Block. Pre-requisite: Admission to School of Education (SOE). (ED339)
Clinical Internship III A focused semester-long internship in an elementary classroom; part of a field-based learning experience with co-requisite junior block courses.  During this internship, students will connect theory to practice with weekly instructional assignments to complete within the internship. (ED370)
Diagnosis & Assessment of Exceptional Needs The assessment of student performance is one of the most difficult and most important of all tasks performed by teachers and must be ongoing as well as proactive in nature. This course addresses the identification of learning goals and subsequently involves diagnosis of student needs, provision for effective instruction with feedback, and use of assessment results to improve teaching as well as learning. This course will provide candidates with the assessment tools necessary to enhance learning for diverse student populations. Documenting student performance and progress both for instructional and accountability purposes will be emphasized. Students will develop and use new assessment paradigms to enhance students’ learning, communicate with parents and students, and create change regarding views toward assessment. They will learn how to communicate assessment results to their learners. Students will also explore established and developing technologies as well as computer software programs that are used to enhance the assessment process and record keeping, such as Aims-Web and Diebels. This course will also address the area of response to Intervention and how RtI is being used to diagnose learners with exceptionalities. (ED408)
Instructional Analysis, Design and Assessment Students will apply, implement and reflect on principles of instructional design and assessment in classrooms.   Students will plan, instruct and assess a unit of instruction at the student teaching site.  Instructional approaches and assessment techniques for teaching in the classroom setting will be learned during a co-requisite 60 hour internship. (ED420)
Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Development, organization and scope of modern public health programs; nursing concepts and skills needed for family-centered health care; role of public health nurse in community health programs. Pre-requisite: Admission to School Nurse Certification Program. (ED427)
Community Health Practices and Problems Influence of physical environment on health and disease, ecology, and concepts of public health. Meeting the health needs of the community of individuals and families in their normal environment such as the home, the school and place of work. An area of practice that lies primarily outside the therapeutic institutions. Pre-requisite: Admission to the School of Education (SOE). (ED428)
Early Adolescents and Schools Study of the development of early adolescents (ages 10-14). Required for Illinois middle level endorsement on elementary and/or secondary certificate. Builds on knowledge from ED 200 or 201, Human Development, and other psychological foundation courses. Focuses on the developmental characteristics and the needs of early adolescents. Includes the advisory role of the middle grade (5-8) teacher in providing guidance as well as in assessing, coordinating and referring students to health and social services. A 20-hour internship in a middle level (grades 5-8) classroom is required. (current Millikin students should take this course for 2 credits; MU alumni and students not matriculating from Millikin will need to take this course for 3 credits to fulfill state requirements and will be expected to complete an additional project to account for the added credit.) Pre-requisite: ED 200 or ED 201 (or concurrent enrollment) and Admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). (ED440)
Middle School: Philosophies and Practices This course is required for Illinois middle level endorsement on elementary and/or secondary certificate and encompasses ideas and practices for prospective middle school teachers.  This course focuses on middle school philosophy, curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  It includes instructional methods for designing and teaching developmentally appropriate programs in middle schools.  The course also builds on knowledge from educational foundations and methods courses.  (Current Millikin students must take this course for 2 credits; students no matriculating from Millikin will take this course for 3 credits to fulfills state requirements and will be expected to complete an additional project to account for the added credits) Pre-requisites: ED 203 or ED 321 and admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). (ED450)
Supervised Teaching: Elementary School Observation, planning for classroom instruction, preparation and presentation of lessons, and assessment of student learning. Students assume full responsibility for the classroom for a period of 3 to 5 weeks. Pre-requisite: Admission to and retention in Teacher Education and Admission to Student Teaching. (ED476)
Supervised Teaching: High School Observation, planning for classroom instruction, preparation and presentation of lessons, and assessment of student learning for 14 weeks. Students assume full responsibility for the classroom for a period of 5 to 7 weeks. Pre-requisite: Admission to and retention in the School of Education and Admission to Student Teaching. (ED478)
Supervised Clinical Experience in K-12 This field experience is required of all teacher candidates for the Special Education Endorsement in K-12 classrooms. This course is taken in its entirety off campus at the same school where student teaching is assigned, during the semester prior to student teaching. The course requires that the teacher candidate will co-teach with a special education resource teacher who works with a variety of general education classroom teachers, most likely of whom one will be the candidates cooperating teacher the following semester.  Attendance at on campus seminars will also be expected. (ED479)
Education Senior Seminar Problems of beginning teachers, including the job seeking process, certification, legal aspects of teaching and graduate school opportunities. Specific problems analysis by teaching major and for each teacher candidate. Meets four times during student teaching and on-the-block after student teaching. Taken concurrently with ED476/477/478 (student teaching). Pre-requisite: Admission to and retention in the School of Education and Admission to Student Teaching. (ED488)
Educational Tests and Measurement Evaluation of pupils in public schools in intelligence, achievement aptitudes and learning difficulties. Standardized and teacher-made tests. Pre-requisite: Admission to School of Education (SOE). (ED412)

Sample Plan of Study

This plan of study shows the types of courses you might take as a student in this major. This is presented simply to provide a realistic preview of your coursework. Once you enroll at Millikin, a faculty advisor will guide you through the process of selecting courses that will help you graduate on-time from this program. While this sample demonstrates a plan of study that covers eight semesters, each student’s academic path is unique and your timeline may look different.



Semester 1 Semester 2
University Seminar Critical Writing, Reading, Research II
Critical Writing, Reading, Research I Language
Math Math
Introduction to Education Strategies for Learners with Disabilities
Language Biology
   
Semester 3 Semester 4
Human Development Language
General Methods Children’s Literature
Language Arts Methods Health, Nutrition and Welfare 
Social Studies Methods Child Language Development and Linguistics 
Foundations of Bilingual Education Oral Communication
   
Semester 5 Semester 6
Global Studies Creating Communities of Learners
Assessment of English Language Learners  Methods and Materials in English Language Education
Supporting Core Curriculum through Art and Movement Reading Methods
Physical Development and Health Math Methods
Literature Science Methods
Fine Arts Internship
   
Semester 7 Semester 8
US Studies I Student Teaching
Physical Science Senior Seminar
Integrating Culture in the Classroom   
Elective  
Elective